Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ANDERSON, Richard Herron, soldier, born near Statesburgh, South Carolina, 7 October 1821; died in Beaufort, 26 June 1879. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1842, assigned to the 2d dragoons, and served on frontier duty until 1845, when he joined the expedition for the military occupation of Texas. In the war with Mexico he took part in the siege of Vera Cruz and the various operations preceding and including the capture of the city of Mexico, 12-14 September 1847. He became first lieutenant of the 2d dragoons 13 July 1848, and captain 3 March 1855, served frequently at the cavalry school for practice at Carlisle barracks, and was on duty in Kansas during the border troubles of 1856-'57. He was on duty at Fort Kearney, Nebraska, from 1859 to 1861, when he resigned, 3 March to accept a brigadier's commission from the confederate government. He was promoted to Major-General in August 1862, and given the command of the 5th division of Bragg's army in Tennessee, but was soon ordered to the army of Virginia, and was wounded at Antietam. He commanded a division at Gettysburg 1-3 July 1863, and was promoted to lieutenant-general in May 1864. It was his unexpected night march (because he could not find a suitable place to encamp) that took the van of Lee's army to the defenses of Spotsylvania before Grant could reach that place, and thus prolonged a campaign that might otherwise have ended there with a decisive battle. General Anderson took a prominent part in the defense of Petersburg, and in the closing engagements that preceded the surrender, commanded the 4th corps of the confederate army under Lee. After the war he remained in private life.
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